FIFA is reportedly set to abandon plans to increase the field for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to 48 teams because of "political and logistical issues."
On Wednesday, Martyn Ziegler of The Times reported FIFA president Gianni Infantino will announce the decision during a June 5 meeting. Infantino was hopeful the field could expand by playing matches in other Middle East countries but "reluctantly had to accept that it would be too challenging to do so."
FIFA voted in January to include 48 countries in the 2026 World Cup, up from the standard 32.
The new format will feature 16 three-team groups with the top two from each pool advancing to the knockout stages, which begin with a round of 32 rather than a round of 16.
Although that plan passed, Infantino said as recently as March the sport's governing body continued to research whether implementing the idea for 2022 was also possible.